Shadow, Sassy and Chance are back! It's been three years since their trek through the woods and over the mountains. Now the family lives in San Fransisco and they're taking a vacation in Canada. Only problem, the pets escape from the airport while being put in the cargo area of the plane. Now their family is in Canada and the pets are all alone in San Fransisco. They meet scruffy bully dogs and a gang of rebel dogs all abandoned and have started their own group. Also looking for them is a "Blood Red Van" driven by bumbling dog catchers. Also Chance meets a girl dog and it's love at first bite. Written by
Dylan Self <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Lacks The Originality And Emotional Punch Of The First Effort
While watching the first Homeward Bound film, I was impressed by its cinematic ability to conjure up an emotional viewer response from not only children, but also adults as well. Almost everyone can relate to losing a beloved pet, so that theme was able to deeply resonate with any set of eyeballs. Unfortunately, this second effort, "Lost In San Francisco", fails to do likewise on a variety of different counts.
First, the plot is a complete rip-off of the original. The two dogs (Shadow and Chance) and one feline (Sassy) once again are accidentally separated from their familial owners and "decide" (since this IS a film about talking animals!) to set out to find them; this time on the streets of San Francisco. Essentially, all the same basic jokes and sight gags are repeated and the main "characters" aren't really developed any more than the first try. A few new animals are thrown into the mix, but few really stand out as being all that interesting or important to the overall character development.
Also, the themes in this film are a bit shadier than the much more traditionally-Disney HB1. The concept of racism (with some dogs speaking jive) and even subtle hints towards sexuality (a lone cat feeling uncomfortable among dogs, Chance developing a romantic relationship, etc.) only serve to water down a film franchise which, at its best, was always dangerously closing to crossing over the "weepy cheeseball" line. Though those themes will go right over the heads of most youngsters, these films are also made to at least keep adults paying attention and somewhat enthused, but these darker topics makes the message seem both clichéd and preachy.
Thus, although the kiddies may like this film just as much as the original, if you were one of the adults who were surprised to find yourself tearing up at the end of part one, don't expect the same sort of emotional material in this effort. It's decent, but just fails to capture the innocence and playfulness that was so readily apparent in the predecessor.
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